Hi again, thanks for coming back to hear more about our story.
If you missed part 1, please go back and start there first.
Ok, now to pick back up where we left off. 2010 brought us back to our hometown in the Bay Area, California, living with family (5 adults in one house!! we actually had a lot of fun) and searching for jobs. Strangely enough, we both jumped back in to where we were working before we got married. What a gracious and kind act for both of our previous employers to welcome us back. It can be tough out there, and job hunting is no joke. Immediately some of the stress washed away and we knew we’d be ok. Eventually we found more permanent jobs and moved out in to our own place. Living with family after being married for 7 years is a humbling experience! We stayed in the same town for another year until a new job and a new move took us to where we are now.
During this time, I dove head in learning all about holistic health. I actually found a mentor who was learning an energy healing modality and I couldn’t get enough of it. I started using essential oils and cleaned up my diet even more. My health improved so much that I was able to stop taking medications for allergies and asthma that I took for 18 years. I think it’s been 7 or 8 years since then, and I still have not had any symptoms. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, take a look at your diet! Ok, that’s for another time as well.
I started to gain so much trust in holistic health and in my body’s innate ability to heal. Again, these are posts for another time, but I was baffled by the fact that I was living proof that our body can truly heal, that it is meant to heal. Sickness is not our true nature, health is. And diet and lifestyle have everything to do with health and well being. I still stand by that 100%. I also think that we are not taught how to listen to our bodies, so sometimes interventions are needed as a starting point, until we can begin to tune in and hear what our heart is trying to express. Like today, I had an organic/vegan peanut butter chocolate cup. Did that do anything for my health? No. Did my body need it? No. Could I have not eaten it? Of course. But I ate it anyway, and now I totally regret it because I don’t FEEL great after consuming it. It has nothing to do with the calories or sugar and I’m not beating myself up. My stomach is kind of flipping around a bit. Our body will tell us what we need, and my body did not need that. It was an emotional craving. Again, more on that later. I’m digressing big time.
Point it, I began to see proof that our bodies can heal. And that was really exciting to me. REALLY exciting. It gave me hope that we would be able to conceive naturally. I dove head in to learn all about natural conception. What nutrients the body needs, what foods to stay away from. I used healing modalities, read countless blogs and books, and became obsessed all over again with wanting to get pregnant. I wanted to defy the odds. To prove that we didn’t need any harsh interventions and that our body’s could do what they were created to do. And yes, I was still living in an archaic way of thinking because of the community I was a part of from my teens to early 30’s. I believed that yeah, I could do good things in the world, but the reason that I am here, is to be a mother. I can’t really express how much weight that put on the whole situation, but it was everything. I was allowing an outside source and system of beliefs put so much pressure on me. I had to do everything right, and then I would get this reward of having a baby and being a mother. It kind of sounds twisted to some of you, I’m sure. Although these feelings were exacerbated by the religious community I was in, I do believe that our society puts these pressures on women as a whole. Women’s bodies are not their own. People ask left and right “Are you trying? Will you have another one? Oh my cousin’s doctor gave them this treatment and it worked, you should try that! Do you think maybe there’s something wrong? Will you have a c-section or vaginal delivery?” Seriously people, NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS!! A woman’s body is her own. A woman is not more worthy of womanhood if she is a mother. We do not treat men like this, and it’s absolutely disgusting that we do this to women. So yes, it’s out there as a whole in our society. And then it’s kicked in to high gear in religious communities, where a woman is told that motherhood is her calling in life and why she is here. This just creates stress, emotional upheaval, and lots of and lots of baggage.
After a couple years of living holistically and still, no pregnancy is sight, I lost it all over again. I had a really big hitting bottom moment. I want to protect the identity of friends and family as I share this, so I’m not really going to say what happened. But there was a time when, after speaking with someone about their life situation, I fell to my knees and sobbed for a good half an hour. I sobbed out of sadness, out of frustration, our of resentment, out of anger, out of downright rage, out of deep, deep pain that could only be truly accessed by a gut wrenching ugly cry. More like ugly sob fest. It felt good. I needed it. Because even after all this time (by now I had discovered yoga years before), I still didn’t feel like I had tools to cope with the pain of all the years of childlessness. No one’s advice helps. Let me repeat this, NO ONE’S ADVICE HELPS. If you have a loved one experiencing the pain of wanting to be a parent and they don’t have any children, just be there for them. Don’t say anything except “I love you and I’m here for you.” That’s it. Don’t give them any advice. They don’t want to hear it. It will just piss them off and push them away from you. We were given so much advice and “Why don’t you just … This helped so and so … If I was you I would spend all the money in the world to have my kids now”. If you take one thing away from reading this, please know that no one going through infertility wants your advice. So just hug them, love them, and leave it at that. And if you can’t keep your mouth shut and you just can’t help yourself, you need to take a long hard look at why you can’t let someone just be. Ok, I’m off my soapbox.
We started to look at life and talk about the possibility of not having kids. I have to say this here because you are probably thinking it. There is no way either one of us is going to compromise our relationship by making a choice in regards to building our family that the other person is not 110% congruent with. What do I mean by that? We would only move forward with IVF if we were both 110% on board and feeling really good about it. And guess what, one of us does not feel good about it so that’s not an option. And yes, we’ve had people judge us for that. Guess what? It’s not your life or your experience, so you don’t get to judge. What two people decide is between them and only them, and you don’t get to have a say. IVF does not feel right for us, end of story. You might think I’m coming off harsh. Well, if you heard all the judgmental things we have been told over the years, you’d have a strong stance about it as well. We have to do better with how we treat each other!!!! What a couple decides is no one else’s business. It is also like that with adoption. It does not feel 110% congruent for both of us equally. And please know, these are not plan B options. How someone builds their family is how they are a family, end of story. It’s not “oh you couldn’t get pregnant so you adopted”. Nope, doesn’t work that way. Again, just love and support them and it will all be good. So no IVF or adoption on the table for us. Not right now. In the future? I have no idea. It’s a lot easier to take this experience a day at a time right now.
We spent about 2 years really letting go of the idea that we were going to have kids. We really did. I started exploring the idea of leaving my job. And I did. I left teaching school to start teaching yoga and fitness. I also dabbled in holistic health coaching and some energy works. Hustling to make a career in your mid-30’s from scratch is really hard. So I dove in to that and let that be the creation that I was desiring. And it was going good for quite a while. We were pretty happy and content with our choice to let go. Of course, part of me always died a little inside at a baby announcement (especially family or close friends), at seeing little baby clothes that I’d never get to buy, at the ooh’s and ahh’s of baby showers (bleh, not an infertile’s favorite activity but I started to go to them and I was ok with it), yeah there was some sadness there. But it was more mild than it used to be. It was manageable. I didn’t feel like I was going to die of heart ache anymore.
And then the opportunity for the fertility research study came. Which brings us to the fall of 2016, where we decided to go for it.
And on January 25th, 2017, I became pregnant with twin boys through an IUI procedure.
Two hearts were beating inside my womb, and our lives were changed forever.